The blockhouse of Mont des Fourches is situated at the Southern end of the Col des Fourches, only a small hike from the Camp des Fourches military barracks and the Col-des-Fourches outpost. From this position the blockhouse has an excellent view over the surrounding area.
The terraced roof provided an ideal shooting platform for the infantrymen, which could be accessed by the square tower located in the southeast corner of the blockhouse. This tower also provided a flanking fire position on both the East and the South sides of the blockhouse.
The South facade and part of the Northwest corner had two levels of vertical shooting slots. The west facade had two superimposed levels of horizontal niches.
The steel sheet watchtower served as an optical telegraphy station to communicate with the other blockhouses of Las Planas and the Pelousette position.
The blockhouse had a large dormitory with bunk beds that could accommodate around 50 men, a kitchen and an officers room. The terraced roof was accessed by steps of metal bars fixed against the wall of the square tower located in the southeast corner of the blockhouse, next to the officer’s room.
The blockhouse was originally built in 1889 as part of the Séré de Rivières system which was a French fortification system built after the Franco-Prussian War to reorganize the defence of the French borders and coasts. Between 1903 and 1905 the blockhouse was redesigned into it’s current form as part of the Maginot’s Alpine Line.
WW2 Battles of the Alps
Although the blockhouse was part of the front-line during the First- and Second Battle of the Alps, it was never directly targeted during the fighting in 1940 or 1944.
The Blockhouse Today
The Blockhouse of Mont des Fourches was abandoned after the war and shows heavy signs of decay. The crenellated walls that surrounded the roof terrace have largely disappeared. Part of it is still standing on the East side.
You can visit the Blockhouse of Mont des Fourches or in French Le Blockhaus des Fourches along the Route de Nice. Park your car at the Camp des Fourches military barrack’s parking area and proceed towards the Col des Fourches on foot following the narrow footpath along the Col.